Saturday 18 November 2017

O Ruairc's sub plot proves decisive for English's men

UCD 2-16 DCU 1-14: Fitzgibbon Cup

DCU's Cathal Curran in action against Sean Murphy of UCD
DCU's Cathal Curran in action against Sean Murphy of UCD
DCU's Padraig Burke in action against Jack O'Connor of UCD
UCD's Oisin O Ruairc in action against Dan Staunton of DCU
Padraig Breheny of DCU, reacts after the game
UCD manager Nicky English speaks to his players after the game Business Desk Business Desk

Second-half goals from substitute Oisin O Ruairc and Colm O Croinin eventually subdued DCU to seal UCD's place in the Fitzgibbon Cup quarter-finals.

Nicky English's side led by just a point at half-time but the diminutive O Ruairc, a constant menace after coming on in the 23rd minute, finally gave UCD a decisive lead by finding the net after latching onto a ball that came back off the post.

O Croinin's strike with 12 minutes left put UCD nine points ahead and although Kevin O'Flynn fired a brilliant shot past Billy Leydon, it came too late.

DCU had arrived late to Belfield to delay the throw-in but it was the hosts who struggled to get going and deal with Mick Daly, who was playing as an extra man in the middle of the field.

Daly put DCU ahead just two minutes in and it was worrying for English that his side hit five wides in the first 10 minutes.

Ross King scored three first-half points to settle his side and Cillian Buckley, playing as the free man as the first half went on, picked out a fine score from long range. But it wasn't until O Ruairc's arrival that UCD found some precision and his goal six minutes into the second half put his side five points ahead.

Donal Breathnach, who was in superb form and scored 10 points for DCU, kept his side in touch with four points in four second-half minutes but it wasn't enough to deny the hosts.

Scorers - UCD: O O Ruairc 1-6 (4fs), R King 0-5 (3fs), C O Croinin 1-1, C Devitt 0-2, C Buckley, C Conway 0-1 each. DCU: D Breathnach 0-10 (6fs), K O'Flynn 1-0, C Boland 0-2, M Daly, P Breheny 0-1 each.

UCD - B Leydon; E Conroy, C O'Shea, S Murphy; C Buckley (capt), M O'Hanlon, J Lyng; C O'Callaghan, C MacGabhainn; C O Croinin, C Devitt, J O'Connor; C Conway, C MacDonagh, R King. Subs: O O'Ruairc for MacDonagh (23), B Whelan for MacGabhainn (46), D Fox for O'Connor (50), D Mulligan for Lyng (54), D Dolan for Conway (60).

DCU - C Ryan; G Bennett, R Lennon, D Staunton; G Bailley, P Burke, S Murphy; K Fitzgerald, T French; P Breheny, K O'Flynn, C Boland; D Breathnach, C Curran (capt), M Daly. Subs: C Egan for Burke (28), P Bolger for Egan (55).

Yellow cards: Fitzgerald (3), Burke (25), O'Flynn (28).

Ref - P Murphy (Carlow).

Irish Independent

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